As SYREN celebrates its 20-year anniversary, the company is proud to present Ithaka, a nine-section modern dance created by Kate Sutter in collaboration with the dancers of SYREN and set to the lively and dynamic music of LA-based composer and producer Calimossa. The performances will take place for three evenings only, from May 4-6, 2023 at 7:30pm at Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, 280 Broadway (Entrance at 53A Chambers Street), New York, NY 10007. Advance web sale tickets are $20 for general admission and can be purchased at https://www.syrendance.org/calendar. Tickets at the door will be $22.50.
Like the beloved Constantine Cavafy poem from which it takes its name, Ithaka honors and celebrates the idea of “the journey” as a worthy end in itself. Taking SYREN’s twenty rich years of dance-making as inspiration, Ithaka’s nine sections are placed in chronological order of the company’s history since its founding year of 2003, and range in mood from ecstatic to contemplative, boisterous to humbled, deeply reflective to exuberantly joyful. Ithaka captures the spirit of an ongoing quest, a quest not for a specific destination, but rather simply for the gift of continued passage – in this case, the passage of human bodies through space and time, spanning countries and decades, sharing with audiences and co-creators far and wide. SYREN invites you to join them in what is at once a retrospective on journeys past and a joyous embarking on those to come.
Ithaka is choreographed by Kate Sutter to music by Calimossa, and is performed by Alice Chacon, Rivkins Christopher, Victoria Ellis, Jessica Nolan, and Lynn Peterson. Additional collaborators include Kate Ashton, lighting design, and Gabrielle Corrigan, costume design.
This performance is a part of Gibney’s POP series, a program supporting the dance community through subsidized theater rental. This performance is supported, in part, by public finds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additionally, this performance is part of SYREN’s 20th Anniversary Season, which is being celebrated with 20 different engagements across America, including workshops, performances, guest teaching appearances, and more.
“We’re eager to celebrate SYREN’s 20th anniversary, and this year has allowed us to reconnect with parts of the tapestry of people who are the reason that we’ve made it this far. As we plant seeds for the future, we’re commemorating this moment by honoring and uplifting the journey that has made it all possible.” Lynn Peterson, Co-Founder/Artistic Director, SYREN Modern Dance
Since 2003, SYREN has hired dozens of artists, in New York City, worked with hundreds of students across the country, and shared dance with thousands of audience members across the globe. This fabric of human connection was created entirely through the act of sharing dance – one person, one program, one step at a time.
About SYREN Modern Dance
SYREN Modern Dance is a New York City-based modern dance company whose artists have been named United States Cultural Ambassadors by the Department of State. Now celebrating its 20th year of sharing dance, SYREN exists to embrace dance as a conduit of connection, communication, curiosity, and collaboration.
SYREN shares dance where people and students gather in classrooms, theaters, churches, temples, dance studios, over Zoom, in the grass, in art galleries, libraries, and museums in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, Washington D.C., Texas, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Vermont, Paris, and Dubai.
In addition to hundreds of individuals, SYREN has received support from the following foundations and programs: Mid Atlantic Arts through USArtists International, a program in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Trust of Mutual Understanding, Aleph Fund, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Dance/NYC, Jewish Community Fund, Queens Council on the Arts, Particle Fever, Harkness Space Grants (92nd Street Y), The Chelsea Art Museum, and by residencies at DanceNOW/NYC’s Silo and DTW’s Outer/Space.
Throughout 2003-2011, SYREN produced performances in NYC at New York City Center Studios, Baryshnikov Arts Center, The Ailey Citigroup Theater, University Settlement, John Jay Theater, and St. Francis Xavier. From 2008–2014, SYREN developed its “Dance on Canvas” partnership with The Art Students League of New York which included an exhibition at The Office of the Manhattan Borough President. During this time SYREN was featured in festivals presented by Riverside Theatre, Symphony Space, 92ND Street Y, Dance Theater Workshop, Dixon Place, Queens Theatre in the Park, d.u.m.b.o. Arts Under the Bridge Festival, and St. Mark’s Church.
SYREN has enjoyed collaborating with a wide range of musicians, composers, conductors, and visual artists including Ann Masina, Philip Miller, Rick Erickson, Lauren Cregor, Yonah Zur, Matthew Oberstein, Artemis Chamber Ensemble, Purchase Chamber Orchestra, Damon Ferrante, Xena Lee, and Eric March. SYREN’s commissioned work by anthropologist/vocalist/composer Galeet Dardashti was presented by JCC of Manhattan, 92Y Tribeca, and Le Poisson Rouge.
SYREN’s “The Art of Fugue” is a site specific dance created specifically to be adapted for performance in spaces with organs (as well as harpsichord). The dance explores definitions of beauty while searching for its existence in a world filled with detachment, immediacy, and exploitation.”The Art of Fugue” has been presented by Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity (NYC), Bach Society of Houston (TX), Sacred Music at the Red Door (CT), Providence United Methodist (NC), and The Church of St. Luke in the Fields (NYC).
SYREN began exploring the intersection of science and art in 2015. SYREN first created “Red and Blue, Bitter and Sweet” an exploration of quantum mechanic theories including entanglement, wave/particle duality, uncertainty principle and superposition, and it has been presented at Museum of Science-Boston, Gibney Dance-NYC, and Brown University. Next SYREN created “Ticktock” which is performed in collaboration with Astrophysicist Paul Sutter, and is an exploration of time using dance and narrative sequences. “Ticktock” has been presented at Expo 2020 Dubai, Bryant Park, Museum of Science-Boston, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Stony Brook University, and New England Biolabs. In an effort to share the process of intersecting science and dance, SYREN created “Science in Motion”, and has since shared this programming with The American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington D.C., Society of Physics Students at NYU, Women in Physics at Yale, Principia College, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, American Physical Society’s New England Conference, IONA College, The Chapin School, St. Paul’s School for Girls, Cambridge Science Festival, High Tech High School, OSU Dance Department, The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria, and Girl’s Inc. of NY.
Additional performance highlights include SYREN performances at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Cité Universitaire in Paris, Green Space, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase College, Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival, White Plains Performing Arts Center, Educational Center for the Arts, New Haven Ballet, and Grounds for Sculpture.
Sharing dance through teaching has been a constant part of SYREN’s work throughout its 20 years. SYREN’s Directors believe the power of dance is that it can be harnessed and offered to any body in any space. This has led to opportunities for Lynn and Kate to bring dance to people across a broad range of ages and abilities. For a comprehensive outline of all the institutions SYREN has visited in this capacity, feel free to reach out to the company! syrendance.org
Since 2015, kamrDANCE has been intricately fusing tap and contemporary dance to tell very serious and very silly stories about identity, the female experience, and human behavior. kamrDANCE’s choreographic works often utilize the power of tap dance as music, along with original text, music, and physical theater. Under the direction of Artistic Director and Choreographer Alexis Robbins, kamrDANCE has performed at venues across the northeast, including Woods Hole Community Hall, Arlington Center for the Arts, Hudson Guild Theater, Triskelion Arts, Actors Fund Arts Center, Dixon Place, Center for Performance Research, Symphony Space, Arts on Site, AS220, SMUSH Gallery, the Transit Museum (Downtown Brooklyn), Whitneyville Cultural Commons, and more. In addition to live performance, kamrDANCE has self-produced four dance films.
For more information, visit kamrdance.com.
About Arts on Site
Arts On Site is a women-led nonprofit arts organization dedicated to providing artists with opportunities to create and perform new work. Arts On Site began as an event to showcase artists. The event was an initiative from professional artists Chelsea Ainsworth, Kyle Netzeband, and Adrian Rosas, to connect artists from multiple art forms. As the event grew, a diverse community of artists grew and the concept for Arts On Site was born.
For more information, visit artsonsite.org.
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